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Scott Jones Visual Print and Design

Scott’s seven year journey from graphic design to Head of Operations

Scott Jones, our Head of Operations, is celebrating seven years at Visual Print and Design this year.

To celebrate, we sat down with Scott to reflect on his journey with us, starting in graphic design and moving into operations.

Tell us about your career with Visual print and Design

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was at college so I started a business course but dropped out, because I found it so boring! It’s then that I found graphic design and absolutely loved it so ran with that.

I joined Visual Print and Design 2016 as a Graphic Designer, which I’d done for 12 years previously. In 2018, we had a change of staff and the Head of Operations position became available which Graham, our Managing Director, offered to me due to my experience in the industry. Every now and then I still dip back into design or jump in wherever I’m needed, so it’s an enjoyable role.

The pivot to operations wasn’t something I ever expected. Now that I’ve worked my way up to a business position I’m doing the things that I would have learned in college, so I probably should have paid more attention or stuck with it! But you never know where things are going to take you.

How has the industry changed since you joined?

Before I even started at Visual Print, there was talk of print being dead. Everything was moving to digital, magazine subscriptions were going down, and people were thinking more about the environmental impact of print. I’ve always been of the mindset though that print won’t die, it will just evolve and become more interesting.

People are much more environmentally conscious now, and that’s something we really get behind. Rather than clients wanting 5,000 leaflets, and 4,000 of them ending up in the bin, you’ll now see companies maybe print 2,000 instead. They may spend the same amount of money though so that those leaflets are more interesting, with die-cuts and special finishes to grab attention.

We’ve also moved away from plastics and instead use lots of eco-friendly materials.

In terms of design, we’ve seen the rise of Canva. It’s a fantastic tool because it gives people who aren’t designers the means to create something. While it’s perfect for online, it isn’t always great for print - the Adobe suite is still best. We sometimes receive Canva files that are the wrong format, or missing crop and bleed marks for example. If in doubt, ask a graphic designer and the work will be much better than what a non-professional can do!

It’s been an interesting seven years considering we had two of those during Covid. That was a challenging time for all businesses, and, like many, we weren’t sure if we would survive. Thankfully we did and we’ve come out of it really strong.

What are your goals?

My goal when I became Head of Operations was to push the business further - make it bigger and better, generate more turnover, get more clients, and do more interesting work.

Now we’re past Covid and in a new financial year, things are looking really promising for those goals. We’re building a fantastic team and doing some great work.

In terms of personal goals, when I was a Graphic Designer I started as a junior and worked my way up to a senior position. My goal was to become a Design Director and have a team to lead. So, when the change here happened and I moved into the operations role, I achieved what I’d been striving for.

There were challenges at first because at heart, I’m a creative, and then, all of a sudden, I’m trying to run things from a business perspective and looking at profit and loss. At first I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, but I’ve learned and I think I’m pretty good at it!

Has your background in graphic design helped you in your role?

We’re always looking for creative solutions, which is what graphic design is all about, so applying that to day-to-day business really works. I’ve approached the role with a different perspective, especially from Graham as he is very business minded, whereas I am very creative, so we bounce off each other and work together really well.

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